Speaking at the 10th ASEAN-India Tourism Ministers Meeting held on February 4 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, within the framework of the 2023 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2023), he said that India is an important source market for the ASEAN tourism industry with its large population, growing middle class and high tourism demand.
The number of Indian tourists to Vietnam grew by an annual average of 27% in the 2015-2019 period, the official said.
Last year, after the country reopened its doors to foreign visitors, Indian tourists to Vietnam recovered 81% compared to 2019, making India one of the strongest recovery markets.
The deputy minister attributed the impressive results to the close cooperation between the tourism and aviation industries in an effort to strengthen connectivity and create favourable travel conditions for tourists.
Since 2019, Vietnamese airlines have opened many new routes connecting four cities of Vietnam with six major cities of India. In December last year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism organised the Vietnam Culture Day in India to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, helping to popularise the country's images, people, culture, and tourism in India.
The official pledged that Vietnam will work with other ASEAN member countries to restore the growth of visitor exchanges and further increase experiences for Indian tourists.
At the meeting, ASEAN and India adopted the Tourism Work Plan for 2023-2027.
The plan includes 17 activities aiming to support the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) for the 2016-2025 period, the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy (ATMS) for the 2021-2025 period, the ASEAN Post-COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Plan, the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Development Framework and the Phnom Penh Declaration on Transforming ASEAN Tourism.
The meeting reviewed the results of cooperation in the past time, especially the lifting of the ASEAN-India strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership, in which tourism is defined as one of the important cooperative fields.
The event underlined the need to continue to support micro, small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (MSMEs) and promote equal opportunities to improve employment for local communities under the Phnom Penh Declaration on Transforming ASEAN Tourism which was approved at the ASEAN Summit in November 2022.
Participants emphasised their support for activities in the ASEAN-India Tourism Promotion Programme, with the aim of raising awareness of ASEAN destinations in the Indian market. They include expanding the scope of several ASEAN strategic priority areas for 2023 within the framework of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), such as circular economy and decarbonisation, culture and eco-tourism, approaching the new logo and slogan of ASEAN tourism “Destination for all dreams”.